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INTO Clause (Transact-SQL)

SELECT…INTO creates a new table in the default filegroup and inserts the resulting rows from the query into it. To view the complete SELECT syntax, see SELECT (Transact-SQL).

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

[ INTO new_table ]

new_table

Specifies the name of a new table to be created, based on the columns in the select list and the rows chosen from the data source.

The format of new_table is determined by evaluating the expressions in the select list. The columns in new_table are created in the order specified by the select list. Each column in new_table has the same name, data type, nullability, and value as the corresponding expression in the select list. The IDENTITY property of a column is transferred except under the conditions defined in "Working with Identity Columns" in the Remarks section.

To create the table in another database on the same instance of SQL Server, specify new_table as a fully qualified name in the form database.schema.table_name.

You cannot create new_table on a remote server; however, you can populate new_table from a remote data source. To create new_table from a remote source table, specify the source table using a four-part name in the form linked_server.catalog.schema.object in the FROM clause of the SELECT statement. Alternatively, you can use the OPENQUERY function or the OPENDATASOURCE function in the FROM clause to specify the remote data source.

The FILESTREAM attribute does not transfer to the new table. FILESTREAM BLOBs are copied and stored in the new table as varbinary(max) BLOBs. Without the FILESTREAM attribute, the varbinary(max) data type has a limitation of 2 GB. If a FILESTREAM BLOB exceeds this value, error 7119 is raised and the statement is stopped.

When an existing identity column is selected into a new table, the new column inherits the IDENTITY property, unless one of the following conditions is true:

  • The SELECT statement contains a join, GROUP BY clause, or aggregate function.

  • Multiple SELECT statements are joined by using UNION.

  • The identity column is listed more than one time in the select list.

  • The identity column is part of an expression.

  • The identity column is from a remote data source.

If any one of these conditions is true, the column is created NOT NULL instead of inheriting the IDENTITY property. If an identity column is required in the new table but such a column is not available, or you want a seed or increment value that is different than the source identity column, define the column in the select list using the IDENTITY function. See "Creating an identity column using the IDENTITY function" in the Examples section below.

You cannot specify a table variable or table-valued parameter as the new table.

You cannot use SELECT…INTO to create a partitioned table, even when the source table is partitioned. SELECT...INTO does not use the partition scheme of the source table; instead, the new table is created in the default filegroup. To insert rows into a partitioned table, you must first create the partitioned table and then use the INSERT INTO...SELECT FROM statement.

Indexes, constraints, and triggers defined in the source table are not transferred to the new table, nor can they be specified in the SELECT...INTO statement. If these objects are required, you can create them after executing the SELECT...INTO statement.

Specifying an ORDER BY clause does not guarantee the rows are inserted in the specified order.

When a sparse column is included in the select list, the sparse column property does not transfer to the column in the new table. If this property is required in the new table, alter the column definition after executing the SELECT...INTO statement to include this property.

When a computed column is included in the select list, the corresponding column in the new table is not a computed column. The values in the new column are the values that were computed at the time SELECT...INTO was executed.

The amount of logging for SELECT...INTO depends on the recovery model in effect for the database. Under the simple recovery model or bulk-logged recovery model, bulk operations are minimally logged. With minimal logging, using the SELECT… INTO statement can be more efficient than creating a table and then populating the table with an INSERT statement. For more information, see The Transaction Log (SQL Server).

Requires CREATE TABLE permission in the destination database.

A. Creating a table by specifying columns from multiple sources

The following example creates the table dbo.EmployeeAddresses by selecting seven columns from various employee-related and address-related tables.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
SELECT c.FirstName, c.LastName, e.JobTitle, a.AddressLine1, a.City, 
    sp.Name AS [State/Province], a.PostalCode
INTO dbo.EmployeeAddresses
FROM Person.Person AS c
    JOIN HumanResources.Employee AS e 
    ON e.BusinessEntityID = c.BusinessEntityID
    JOIN Person.BusinessEntityAddress AS bea
    ON e.BusinessEntityID = bea.BusinessEntityID
    JOIN Person.Address AS a
    ON bea.AddressID = a.AddressID
    JOIN Person.StateProvince as sp 
    ON sp.StateProvinceID = a.StateProvinceID;
GO

B. Inserting rows using minimal logging

The following example creates the table dbo.NewProducts and inserts rows from the Production.Product table. The example assumes that the recovery model of the AdventureWorks2012 database is set to FULL. To ensure minimal logging is used, the recovery model of the AdventureWorks2012 database is set to BULK_LOGGED before rows are inserted and reset to FULL after the SELECT...INTO statement. This process ensures that the SELECT...INTO statement uses minimal space in the transaction log and performs efficiently.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
IF OBJECT_ID('dbo.NewProducts', 'U') IS NOT NULL
    DROP TABLE dbo.NewProducts;
GO
ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks2012 SET RECOVERY BULK_LOGGED;
GO

SELECT * INTO dbo.NewProducts
FROM Production.Product
WHERE ListPrice > $25 
AND ListPrice < $100;
GO
ALTER DATABASE AdventureWorks2012 SET RECOVERY FULL;
GO

C. Creating an identity column using the IDENTITY function

The following example uses the IDENTITY function to create an identity column in the new table Person.USAddress. This is required because the SELECT statement that defines the table contains a join, which causes the IDENTITY property to not transfer to the new table. Notice that the seed and increment values specified in the IDENTITY function are different from those of the AddressID column in the source table Person.Address.

USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
IF OBJECT_ID ('Person.USAddress') IS NOT NULL
DROP TABLE Person.USAddress;
GO
-- Determine the IDENTITY status of the source column AddressID.
SELECT OBJECT_NAME(object_id) AS TableName, name AS column_name, is_identity, seed_value, increment_value
FROM sys.identity_columns
WHERE name = 'AddressID';

-- Create a new table with columns from the existing table Person.Address. A new IDENTITY
-- column is created by using the IDENTITY function.
SELECT IDENTITY (int, 100, 5) AS AddressID, 
       a.AddressLine1, a.City, b.Name AS State, a.PostalCode
INTO Person.USAddress 
FROM Person.Address AS a
INNER JOIN Person.StateProvince AS b ON a.StateProvinceID = b.StateProvinceID
WHERE b.CountryRegionCode = N'US'; 

-- Verify the IDENTITY status of the AddressID columns in both tables.
SELECT OBJECT_NAME(object_id) AS TableName, name AS column_name, is_identity, seed_value, increment_value
FROM sys.identity_columns
WHERE name = 'AddressID';

D. Creating a table by specifying columns from a remote data source

The following example demonstrates three methods of creating a new table on the local server from a remote data source. The example begins by creating a link to the remote data source. The linked server name, MyLinkServer, is then specified in the FROM clause of the first SELECT...INTO statement and in the OPENQUERY function of the second SELECT...INTO statement. The third SELECT...INTO statement uses the OPENDATASOURCE function, which specifies the remote data source directly instead of using the linked server name.

USE master;
GO
-- Create a link to the remote data source. 
-- Specify a valid server name for @datasrc as 'server_name' or 'server_name\instance_name'.
EXEC sp_addlinkedserver @server = N'MyLinkServer',
    @srvproduct = N' ',
    @provider = N'SQLNCLI', 
    @datasrc = N'server_name',
    @catalog = N'AdventureWorks2012';
GO
USE AdventureWorks2012;
GO
-- Specify the remote data source in the FROM clause using a four-part name 
-- in the form linked_server.catalog.schema.object.
SELECT DepartmentID, Name, GroupName, ModifiedDate
INTO dbo.Departments
FROM MyLinkServer.AdventureWorks2012.HumanResources.Department
GO
-- Use the OPENQUERY function to access the remote data source.
SELECT DepartmentID, Name, GroupName, ModifiedDate
INTO dbo.DepartmentsUsingOpenQuery
FROM OPENQUERY(MyLinkServer, 'SELECT *
               FROM AdventureWorks2012.HumanResources.Department'); 
GO
-- Use the OPENDATASOURCE function to specify the remote data source.
-- Specify a valid server name for Data Source using the format server_name or server_name\instance_name.
SELECT DepartmentID, Name, GroupName, ModifiedDate
INTO dbo.DepartmentsUsingOpenDataSource
FROM OPENDATASOURCE('SQLNCLI',
    'Data Source=server_name;Integrated Security=SSPI')
    .AdventureWorks2012.HumanResources.Department;
GO

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